The Falconer, by Elizabeth May

she_who_reads_'s review against another edition

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I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would!! It definitely throws out some “Buffy the Fae Slayer” vibes, which I loved! The plot was great, there was a lot of action, I loved the steam punk elements, and I truely enjoyed Aileana’s character.
What I didn’t enjoy was the sheer repetitiveness. We are reminded, constantly, of the major plot points and eventually I just felt like yelling “Oh, you feel rage because of what happened to your mother?! Do you?! Because if so, please tell me another 40 times or I might forget!”
The ending also felt really rushed- I would have preferred something a bit more epic after the build up.
That being said, I will definitely be reading the next one, as I did really enjoy the story and characters!

ventureswithbooks's review against another edition

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I really enjoyed this book! It took me a couple of chapters to really get hooked into the story line but once I did this book did not let me go (and still hasn't into book 2!). I particularily enjoyed how the book took place in Edinburgh in 1844 but added a twist with electricity and flying cars and other fun contraptions! Aileana is a woman that we can all relate too from her determined (sometimes stubborn) attitude to her grief. I'm diving into book 2 right now!!

sleeping_while_awake's review against another edition

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The Falconer didn't have that spark in the characters nor the plot. It felt lifeless to me, and was strung together by a bunch of worn-out tropes.

The Falconer takes placed in 19th century steampunk Scotland. Aileana, an 18 year old of the upper class, is dealing with the tragic loss of her mother. Since she was found over her mother's body, there are rumors she was responsible, and her strange behavior isn't helping. Her father is distant and cold, and wants to marry her off promptly.

She's been trained by a rogue faerie, Kiaran, who has taught her how to hunt and kill other dangerous faeries. A seal is weakening and letting all the bad faeries loose, and Aileana vows to stop them.

She's also joined by a pixie, Derrick, who provides comic relief, and Gavin, her grown-up childhood friend that is a Seer (can see faeries) and is interested in her romantically.

Yes, Gavin is blonde-haired and friendly, Kiaran is dark-haired and moody. The love triangle is a bit sloppy because Gavin's character is not fully realized with agency into the plot. He helps Aileana in one scene but other than that he's just hanging about.

The setting is interesting, but the story barely has any historical references at all, which is always a red flag to me. It might as well have been in another world, and probably would have been served better by it. Not one mention about a clan or kilt in a story that takes place in 1844 Scotland?!

The steampunk isn't featured too much either. Makes me think there wasn't a lot of effort in world-building.

Aileana represents the chosen one trope. Not only has she become a fighting machine in a year, she's a brilliant inventor. She does have a crazed blood-thirstiness about her when it comes to the faeries, but it waxes and wanes over different scenes. I would have preferred her to have constant blood-lust and be completely insane, hiding in the corners of the ballroom and stitching a jacket of faery skins.

I liked the bloodlust side of Aileana and that made parts of the book enjoyable.

Instead she has this schizophrenic like personality. One minute she craves blood, the next she's worrying about being married. Maybe it was the plot that couldn't figure out what it wanted to be...a historical romance mashed up with urban fantasy.

Her character never interested me, and I think part of it was her dialogue. She sounded like a Bruce Willis action character most of the time. Not like a character dealing with all the emotions of a teenager.

The writing style also verged on middle grade at times. It was really strange, because the content definitely is not. It read younger than typical ya, and I don't really understand why. Maybe an error on the editor/publisher for the targeted reading market?

herwitchiness's review against another edition

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Short & sweet: loved it, super fun - think “Buffy” but with faeries just as bloodthirsty as vampires in BtVS. I hope Audible gets the other two available so I can enjoy them while I knit, too!

bibliocat4's review against another edition

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ARC from Edelweiss

Warning: don't read until the next book is out because there is a cliffhanger ending, ie right at the point when all seems lost and all of humanity hangs in the balance!

torinz's review against another edition

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Whilst I was innocently perusing the pages of this gorgeously illustrated book, I just so happened to notice a few hundred similarities to the Fever series by KMM.
It wasn't a few hundred but I most definitely did detect some elements that were ...similar.

Hmm, but I don't really care.

I like this book, it may be a bit of a ripoff, but it's a good ripoff. There was a different set of priorities and expectations and frankly, it wasn't as dark as the Fever series, or quite as hot.

But, this isn't adult fantasy so whatevs.
So we have our heroine, who's mom got killed by a fae and she saw the whole thing, because her mom happened to braid this plant that lets you see fae into her hair.

And she's totally PTSD about it, which is nice and believable, except she somehow knows how to make weapons grade explosive, which I find not so believable.

Still, makes for a good story.

The characters are cool, except it's mostly Aileana and the male MC, Kieran who are in the story. There's a best friend and her brother and a pipsqueak fairy too.

I liked the plot, but I also didn't think that the little love story was a bit meh too. He suddenly loves her and sacrifices himself with only some vague sexual advances that I admittedly enjoyed, but nothing concrete.
I think we needed more time before dramatic sacrifices for love.

Still, enjoyable story and characters and plot.

I leave you with a tidbit from the story.

The seal breaking is an inevitability,’ Kiaran says, stuffing his hands into his pockets. ‘It’ll happen when the lunar eclipse occurs on midwinter. In six days.’

‘Six days,’ I whisper, almost unable to say the words.

I go cold and it’s hard to breathe. That’s too soon. If the fae manage to escape, how will it be possible to save the city? An entire human army couldn’t defeat the fae. Even a few more escaped redcaps could wreak untold havoc. I can’t stand against them if that happens, not on my own. I can’t save everyone.

‘We have to find the seal before that happens,’ I tell him. ‘Reactivate it somehow.’

He shakes his head. ‘The seal can only be reactivated during the eclipse. All the sìthichean will have slipped through by then.’

‘Surely there must be something we can do,’ I say.

‘We have one chance.’ He is so quiet I can only just hear him over the breeze. Around us, the trees rattle and dead leaves tumble through the grass. ‘You have to be there to reactivate it,’ he says. ‘You’re the only one who can.’

nmainardiauthor's review against another edition

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I'd heard good thing about this series, so when I got the chance to be on a blog tour for the second book, I couldn't wait to start this series. And I'm so glad I did! There was nonstop action from the very beginning, and held until the very end. Our main character is such a badass, but also so multifaceted and relatable. I honestly felt like both of these things are what a lot of fantasies are missing these days, and I was so happy to find such wonderful qualities in this book.

Starting the sequel right now!!

kelseywho's review against another edition

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Good but not great? It's got a bad case of Beautiful Heroine Who Doesn't Know She's Beautiful as well as Dark, Brooding Asshole Who May or May Not Be a Romantic Interest. Regardless, it's an interesting concept and it ends on a cliffhanger so now I at least have to read the beginning of the next book to find out what happens.

gemsreads's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


jesskylie's review against another edition

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This book was INCREDIBLE! Why I haven't read this sooner, I can't tell you!

This left off with such a brutal cliffhanger, I need the next book asap.